A Yoga Primer

3 Nov

I’m a yoga junkie.

I’ve done some pretty nutso things in the name of yoga over the years.  I once lived in a tipi with a friend and two strangers for a week so we could practice waterfront yoga three times a day. I taught a mini-yoga class to a friend and some dude named Bernie  as we hung, trapped and freezing, in a broken ski gondola for five hours. I’ve woken up at ungodly hours — willingly — to chant in Sanskrit, and then balance off my arms.

And it all rocked.

Along the way, I’ve learned a few useful things about yoga that I don’t think many people tell you. So here goes:

  1. Yes, yoga mats can be super slippery. But, generally, only when they’re new. So before you use ’em, wash ’em. Yes, in the clothes washer. If you have a big fat mat like mine that doesn’t fit into your condo-sized washer, wash it in your mom’s washer. Moms LOVE that. Don’t use soap — we’re trying to get rid of that slippery coating, remember? Incidentally, most mat manufacturers specifically recommend you don’t do this. But for cheaper mats in particular, the washing machine works wonders.
  2. And you should wash your mat regularly. Because it’s kind of gross not to.
  3. If your mat smells rubbery, rub apple cider vinegar onto it. In my own experience (Disclosure: I have not done valid scientific trials), vinegar beats fancy aromatherapy oils hands down when it comes to getting rid of rubber smells.
  4. If you spend time in hot, humid climates, be careful when you roll out your mat. Cockroaches love yoga, too. When you go to bed at night, they’ll scurry into your rolled-up mat and play cockroach zen games all night long. They’re still there, legs all-folded up Buddha-style, when you roll it out in the morning.
  5. Don’t dress in heavy clothing for a hot yoga class, obviously. But, sometimes, you’ll want leggings. Like those wide-legged bends where everybody can see into where your sun don’t shine. Mostly, though, you’ll wish you had something on your legs when you get to arm balances. Slippery sweaty arms + slippery sweaty legs = broken nose. That’s my paranoid way of thinking, anyway.

Yoga at Tipi Camp, a.k.a. Yoga Hippie Camp

Namaste and top of the Wednesday morning to all.



One Response to “A Yoga Primer”

  1. Sandy November 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    These tips are fantastic! I just bought a new mat and it is slippery and smells like rubber. Thanks to you I won’t be concerned with eating it whilst downward dogging it.

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